You write better than we can maintain turf.
Our second Turfheads Take Over, like the first one, demonstrates perhaps the No. 1 quality GCI readers possess: you’re more versatile than a basketball star with an efficient jump shot, deft touch, uncanny vision and penchant for mixing it up inside. That’s why we recruited you to do our jobs – and we didn’t need shoe company money or sleazy liaisons to secure your commitment. Writing is one segment of your skillset, yet you execute like full-time scribes.
Let’s clarify a fallacy before we continue praising our readers … we didn’t take the last month off. When we announced this concept last year, we jokingly suggested we planned to take a late-fall hiatus. We duplicated the lame joke again this year. What can we say? We can never be accused of taking ourselves too seriously.
But we take our work, especially when your names are on it, seriously. This issue required as much, if not more, effort than its 2017 predecessors. Industry professionals are trusting us to properly convey their candid thoughts to a large audience. We treat submissions with tremendous care because we know this might be somebody’s one chance to write for a national publication.
We received 13 submissions from all segments of the industry. Superintendents. Assistant superintendents. A retired superintendent. A former superintendent turned territory representative. An association leader. An architect. The diversity of contributors mirrors our readership. GCI strives to cultivate a welcoming atmosphere in print, digital and social media formats.
Contributors required no briefing about our daily goal of producing relatable content because for 11 months they are part of the brilliant group we are trying to reach. They are trying to build teams, hire the right people, convince more females to consider golf industry careers and boost golf’s environmental standing, topics examined by Dean Graves, Brian Stiehler, Leasha Schwab and Paul Carter, respectively.
If a few names on the contents page look familiar, it’s because Stiehler, Matthew Wharton, Adam Garr and David Beanblossom are making encore appearances. All four are great friends of GCI and wonderful writers. They embody the spirit of the industry, ready to help co-workers, colleagues, partners and magazine editors whenever called upon.
Nathan Crace enjoys writing so much that he’s a member of the Golf Writers Association of America. His personal story evokes memories of that moment when golf first mesmerized us, although I can’t imagine how my parents would have reacted had I tried building a course in our western Pennsylvania backyard.
Last year’s Turfheads Take Over was a rousing success. But it lacked the assistant superintendent perspective. Zach Wike and Mitch Savage, a talented, enthusiastic and committed duo willing to serve the industry in any capacity, changed that for us this year. We also lacked an association perspective last year, so we connected with the Adam Ikamas, the Michigan’s GCSA’s dedicated leader. Ikamas must have been excited to write for us. He submitted his article three weeks before the deadline!
Quality writing can inspire others while providing therapy for the author. Kevin Hicks accomplished both by openly describing how he handled losing his superintendent job earlier this year. Hicks, to the delight of many, recently accepted an opportunity to join the EarthWorks team.
Finally, and sadly, this issue marks the last regular GCI contribution from the legendary Monroe Miller. Everybody in the industry is better because of Miller’s enormous contributions. He’s a Hall of Fame husband, father, grandfather, superintendent and Wisconsin Badger fan. We were lucky to have him as part of our team for nine years. If only we could maintain turf as well as he writes.